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Old 06-23-2009, 09:39 PM   #225
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2007 25' International CCD FB
Newport Beach , California
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Hi all,

This thread is a great read. After reading all this, we feel our torsion bars are too heavy! Any help with our set up would be greatly appreciated.

Tow Vehicle
2003 GMC Savana 1500 AWD passenger conversion van
GVWR: 7200
GAWR front: 3600
GAWR rear: 4000
Maximum trailer weight: 6600

Trailer
25' FB CCD International Ocean Breeze
Gross weight: 7300
Tongue weight: 720

Easylift Hitch System installed by Airstream dealer:
1000lb torsion bars on 7th link
1 Sway Control bar
We had a horrible tow to Nashville and raised the torsion bars chains to the 6th link after reading this thread. Much better ride home!

We stopped at a weigh station with a closed sign but with the attendant still there. We didn't want to push our luck so we just asked for three weighs.
Tow vehicle GAWR front: 3540
Tow vehicle GAWR rear: 3980
Trailer axles (both): 6000
Total weight: 13520
3 of us inside the van, 1/2 tank of gas, full water tank, empty gray & black, trailer and van loaded to travel.

We feel that simply raising the chains to the 6th link has made our tow so much better it's ridiculous! But we still have the 1000lb bars we're worried about beating up the trailer as well as not sure if the tow could feel even BETTER! It's funny how things are all relative...

Luckily the Airstream dealer who installed the hitch is on our way home... We just pulled in here for the night and will go in as soon as they open in the morning. Here's the question... What are the best rated torsion bars for our vehicle and trailer? 600lb? 750lb? 800lb? We're pretty sure it's not the 1000lb bars we currently have. We've read through this entire 16 page thread as well as Andy's PDF (amazing!) but most seem to have the Reese dual cam set up with a pick up truck. As above, we have a full size 1500 GMC AWD van with the Easylift system.

~Gay
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:48 PM   #226
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Our 2007 25' FB has a measured tongue weight of 900# without any
water in any of the tanks. Add the hitch weight and it puts you close to
1000#.

-Terry
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:59 PM   #227
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We had problems with vibration it was really doing a beating to the AS.We have 1000# bars also, TV is 2000 Ford Excursion 4x4, V10 w/banks, and an extra sway assist type bar (small ball). We found out that a PO had installed regular car shocks on the trailer instead of dampeners(?). So we changed them to the correct part & we actually went one link less on our chain (was at 3, now we use second one). This helped transfer the load back more on the truck, which because it's a big vehicle it seems to perform better under load. The tire pressure was too low also, so we inflated to the maximum. The difference was amazing.

Smooth sailing now.

That was our story. Maybe it will help others.

Mary
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:58 AM   #228
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Via Andy:
"Dual Cam vs Eaz-Lift

The sway control that Reese calls "dual cam" when properly adjusted, knows when your tow vehicle and trailer are not in a straight line with each other.

The "friction" type sway controls have no idea if your straight or not.

Additionally, the bottom chain link on the Eaz-Lift torsion bars, has an definite wear pattern. Everytime you make a turn, that link moves, which in time "breaks." Repairing it with a "repair link' is not a good idea.

More importantly, when that chain breaks, a "LOSS OF CONTROL" accident can occur. That fact was well documented many years ago.

When using the Reese "dual cam" sway control, a chain holds the cam in a constant position. The chain "NEVER" moves. Therefore a wear pattern on the chain cannot occur.

Also, when towing in inclement weather, all friction type sway controls must have their adjustments "backed off." With the "dual cam" it functions the same always, regardless of weather.

Sort of a "no brainer."

Andy
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We haven't heard back from the experts, but after reading this in the wee hours this morning, we are going with the Reese 800lb trunnion dual cam. Gosh I hope we're doing the right thing...

We would love some confirmation from an expert.
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:26 PM   #229
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We went in and talked to our Airstream dealer here in Ontario and were assured that the Eaz-Lift system installed is a great system and that 1000lb torsion bars are perfect for our tow vehicle and trailer. Apparently 1000lb bars are longer and are needed to distribute the weight for the length of our vehicle. As I mentioned in previous posts our tow vehicle is a full size GMC 1500 AWD passenger conversion van, not a pick up truck. Our rear GAWR is much higher than a pick up so maybe that's the difference.

We also asked questions regarding the safety of our Eaz-Lift system versus the Reese trunnion dual cam and were told the disadvantages of the Reese system outweigh the advantages.

1. The Reese system is difficult to keep adjusted properly, requires a lot more attention to detail and 9 times out of 10 people don't have it adjusted correctly.
2. If the chain breaks loose on the Reese, you lose your sway control because they're attached.
3. Going over bumps and hills you lose the tension in the bars consequently losing your sway.
4. The bottom nut can wear very quickly due to poor adjustment. (Said he's never seen a broken Eaz-Lift chain.)
5. Reese look after their own warranty claims and you can't go back to the dealer. This has been an issue for some customers.

We talked about tires too. Right now we've got Good Year Wrangler 235 75R 16 on our tow vehicle and were advised to get Michelin 225 75R 16 LT, load range "D" at 50 psi for a better ride, better gas mileage and less side sway in the tires. In the past, tire companies have recommended "bigger is better" but for our van & aluminum rims, narrower would be better for stability. With our 6000lb dual axel weight, it was also suggested that we lower the Marathon trailer tires to 40-45 psi from our current 53 psi for a softer ride.
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:09 PM   #230
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I would make one slight change

Jim,

You have an adjustable Reese. I don't like the way your spring bars hang down in the rear. Have you tried to loosen up the large nut and bolts, tilt the hitch and remove a washer on the 1/2" rivit that determines the tilt of the hitch? Removing one washer will allow your spring bars to travel in a more level position. This just might give you a better pull.

ALK
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:33 AM   #231
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Four Years Later

In 2009 I was happy as a clam with my Reese dual cam
And one wrecked Airstream and tow vehicle on June 10, 2013...


My new to me Airstream includes a Hensley. If it hadn't, I would have ordered one and had it put on before leaving the dealership. Truth... I won't say I'm cheap, but thrifty... yes. $3000 for a hitch... and it's not like I drive 1000 miles a week or anything. Isn't that overkill? Well I got away with Reese for 8+ years, and even then "sway" was only part of the accident. Will a Hensley make that much difference? I hope it never has to, but I now think that $3000 hitch is cheap at twice the price.

I keep replaying the accident in my head. Truth is, it happened so fast I'll never know what the heck caused it. The one thing I know I skimped on was going to the scales and weighing the combo at least once a year. As a fulltimer, I thought I was keeping up with throwing stuff out - until we started the salvaging process. New vow - twice a year.

I never thought I had any sway problem until the last day, but occasionally I'd "feel" a passing semi or a big gust of wind so maybe I wasn't dialed in as well as I could have been.

The "sway" happened because the trailer's right side tires went off the pavement onto soft wet earth, a BIG drop-off to the right. Best guess as to what went wrong that put me off the pavement in the first place? Gusty winds contributed? Something mechanical in the trailer or the hitch itself is a distinct possibility. Possibly a brake locking up or some kind of debris getting between the two axles on the right side. Broken shock, low air in a tires? Broken weight bar or tensioning chain? I routinely check the tires every morning, but am not sure I did it on the last day. The hitch was really torn to pieces by the wreck.

Trying to get the trailer back ON the pavement went very wrong. The one "snapshot" I do have as everything was going wrong simultaneously is of the trailer bouncing up on it's left wheels at about a 25 degree angle. 20-20 hindsight says I MIGHT have been better off just letting everything slow to a stop (would have torn hell out of trailer tires and rims on the right side, but still...). Driver error? I can speculate for the next 10 years but I'll never know for sure.

Would a Hensley have saved me?

Don't wanna ever have to find that out - but I won't be stinting on the prevention this time around. That prevention includes SLOWING down. I was under the speed limit of 70 - probably at 65 mph - but I was going too fast to have enough reaction time.

55 MPH is my new limit, and I KNOW that is just as important as the Hensley - if not more so. The Hensley is there to help in adverse wind, rain, paving and mechanical conditions - and if they stay adverse for long, to get me to a good stopping point.


Paula
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:16 AM   #232
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Your assessment of the root cause and pro-active thought process on how to prevent it from ever happening again are pretty accurate. Don't loose sleep. Enjoy the new truck 'n' trailer. Driving 55 while give you more reaction time and save fuel.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:25 AM   #233
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Hi Paula,

In about 1957, when I was about 7 years old, I got to see photos of one of the first Airstream flips. The "experts" at the time concluded there were three basic causes. First, the owner had the rear bumper extended and installed a fairly large box on the back of the trailer which was loaded heavily with tools. Second, the tow vehicle was a pick-up truck with an empty bed, little weight over the rear axle. Third, the driver dropped off the road onto a low shoulder with the single axle 22'er and when he came back up onto the higher pavement at full speed, it flipped.

So, I learned that lesson a long time ago. In about 1985, while traveling through the Texas panhandle, in a split second the Suburban & Airstream fell off the road onto a very low shoulder. I instantly knew what not to do and road out the driver error from about 70mph down to about 10 mph before finding a reasonable level place to reenter the roadway.

The good new for you, is now that you know how important it is to ride out the driver error in the shoulder before making a move back onto the roadway, it will probably never be a repeat disaster for you. I have a Hensley and would like to pass along this lesson that I learned. With a 34'er, when entering a cattle shoot, it's important to move over and get lined up with the shoot before you actually enter it. With a Hensley, the tail end of the trailer can sit several inches off center which is just enough to kiss the shoot. In Pennsylvania, I came up to a very narrow shoot near State College and luckily only scratched my awning poles. However, another Streamer heading to Alumapalooza wasn't so lucky. This fellow caught his third axle on the shoot which ripped the rear wheel off. The wheel did a fair amount of damage before it got away from the trailer. With you new trailer being a bit shorter, you probably won't need to be as concerned, however give yourself an extra couple inches the trailer might not be exactly behind your tow vehicle. This year, I installed a nylon zip strap around my torsion bars. With a Hensley, if the little nub that locks the bars into the hitch head wears out, it's possible for the bar to completely drop off. Keep it greased and try to install a zip strap.

~Alan
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Old 11-17-2013, 03:48 PM   #234
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I tried to, but I simply cannot read 17 pages to see if someone caught this. Yes, it is an old thread, but also this needs to be pointed out. And no, I don't think this is a huge problem that is resulting in the OP's issues.

However the chain hanger brackets (in the close up photo) are oriented the wrong way. The nuts on the chain plate need to be on the inside, the U-bolt that attaches the chains to the chain plates needs to be on the outside. I do not know how important this is, but Reese is pretty clear on this in their instructions.

That aluminum plate may simply not be required if the chain plates (that have a bend in them) are oriented to correct way...?

Also the cam arm adjustment is not proper, the arch of the WD bars is not centered on the cam. I found this to be a troublesome trial and error, but if the bars on not resting centered on the came, the anti-sway is not "locked in" when the rig is traveling in a straight line.

Best, ~Cars
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Old 11-17-2013, 04:28 PM   #235
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See post 32 in the thread.

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Old 04-23-2014, 10:14 AM   #236
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Resurrecting this ancient thread yet again...

I just checked Andy's post count and see he's still active on the forum. Hopefully Andy will see this post, since this is a question for him. Rather than sending him a PM, I'll ask it here so the community can see his reply (hopefully), or chime in with your own experience.

We just purchased a lightly used 2012 27FB and will tow it with a 2010 Toyota Tundra Crewmax. The trailer came with a Reese round bar WD hitch and Dual Cam sway control. Trailer tongue weight is approx. 800 lbs according to the AS website. I have to double check this, but I believe the spring bars are rated for 1200 lbs. According to this thread, these are probably too heavy for the trailer.

We've towed it once so far - from the Airstream dealer to our storage yard - and I thought the ride was pretty rough. The truck felt very stiff in the rear end.

The Reese website shows round spring bars available in three ratings: 1200, 800 and 600 lbs. I want to get one of those lighter sets, but am unsure whether the 800 or 600 lb bars would be correct. The Tundra, when running unhitched, seems to have a pretty car-like ride, which leads me to believe the rear spring rate is pretty soft. Per the specs, the truck weighs 5645 and has a payload rating of 1555 lbs.

600 or 800? That is the question. Hopefully Andy or someone who tows with a similar rig will give me some much-needed advice.

Thanks in advance for any responses I get.

John in Portland
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:12 PM   #237
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If you can find old style Reese dual cam chain hangers & bar ends there is no long process to set up plus they are far better than new style that has weak point with threaded portion w/nut. [my opinion] I have had old style since Reese came out with it & never had a problem.I have had 1 accident since 1963 with towing, was caused by poor design of hitch head that has been fully redesigned.
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:50 PM   #238
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnorts View Post
Resurrecting this ancient thread yet again...

I just checked Andy's post count and see he's still active on the forum. Hopefully Andy will see this post, since this is a question for him. Rather than sending him a PM, I'll ask it here so the community can see his reply (hopefully), or chime in with your own experience.

We just purchased a lightly used 2012 27FB and will tow it with a 2010 Toyota Tundra Crewmax. The trailer came with a Reese round bar WD hitch and Dual Cam sway control. Trailer tongue weight is approx. 800 lbs according to the AS website. I have to double check this, but I believe the spring bars are rated for 1200 lbs. According to this thread, these are probably too heavy for the trailer.

We've towed it once so far - from the Airstream dealer to our storage yard - and I thought the ride was pretty rough. The truck felt very stiff in the rear end.

The Reese website shows round spring bars available in three ratings: 1200, 800 and 600 lbs. I want to get one of those lighter sets, but am unsure whether the 800 or 600 lb bars would be correct. The Tundra, when running unhitched, seems to have a pretty car-like ride, which leads me to believe the rear spring rate is pretty soft. Per the specs, the truck weighs 5645 and has a payload rating of 1555 lbs.

600 or 800? That is the question. Hopefully Andy or someone who tows with a similar rig will give me some much-needed advice.

Thanks in advance for any responses I get.

John in Portland
John.

Why the Super heavy duty tow vehicle?

Total over kill.

You have already noted the stiff ride it gives you.

That stiffness is transfered to the trailer, through the hitch bars.

The lighter the bars, the less the transfer of the road shock.

Using the 600 pound bars is the best that you will be able to accomplish.

Let others know the results.

Presently, I am having some fun in Hawaii.

Aloha.

Andy
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